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Bidding and Optimization

Home > English > Bidding and Optimization > Bidding Basics > Bidding Rules

Bidding Rules

Introduction

Bidding rules are applied to the bids calculated by Marin’s automated bidding algorithms in order to control or restrain bids based on your own business needs. They can be used to create a bid cap, a bid floor, a maximum bid change percentage and more, in order to make certain your Bid Strategy meets your business' unique needs. 

Before you begin: Rules can be an incredibly valuable part of your optimization, however, since they can interfere with the algorithm's ability to make bidding decisions, it's important to validate the purpose of each rule and carefully consider its expected impact prior to implementation. 

If in doubt, opt for using fewer rules, instead of more rules, to give the bidding algorithm freedom to increase or decrease your bids without running into restrictions. And if you're ever uncertain what a rule does or if it's right for your business, don't hesitate to reach out to a platform representative or our Customer Support team to discuss how each rule fits as part of your overall bidding strategy. 

In this article, we'll talk about how to use rules in both MarinOne and Marin Search. We'll indicate where the two platforms differ.

Note: In MarinOne, you'll see the bidding structure referred to as Bid Strategies. In Marin Search, these are called Folders. You'll see the two terms both used in this article, as there are locations in the user interface where you might see one or the other.

Summary of Rules


Set a Bid Cap is the maximum allowable bid. For example, a bid cap of $100 means the bidding algorithm is not allowed to increase your bid over $100.

Keep in mind that a Bid Cap ignores your Bid Strategy-level targets by placing a cap on the allowable bid. In other words, if your Bid Strategy is performing well and Marin's Automated Bidding would like to increase keyword bids to reach your target, a Bid Cap can interfere with this optimization. 
 

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Set a Bid Floor is the minimum allowable bid. For example, a bid floor of $5 means the bidding algorithm is not allowed to decrease your bid below $100. 

Keep in mind that a Bid Floor ignores your Bid Strategy-level targets by placing a floor on the allowable bid. In other words, if your Bid Strategy is not performing well and Marin's Automated Bidding would like to decrease keyword bids to reach your target, a Bid Floor can interfere with this optimization. 

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Keep above First Page Bid causes the minimum allowable bid for Google keywords to be equal to the First Page Minimum Bid determined by the publisher.

Keep in mind that the Google First Page bid does not take efficiency into consideration and may not result in a well-optimized Bid Strategy.
 

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Set a Position Cap prevents the algorithm from increasing bids on keywords above the position cap the prior day. This rule can help prevent costly CPC increases with little-to-no increases in click volume, and protect you against competitor bid manipulation tactics.

Note: Position Caps are no longer supported for Google or Yahoo Japan objects.

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Limit bid change under % (Maximum Bid Change) is the maximum percentage that bids can change each day. For example, if Marin's Automated Bidding has determined that your current keyword bid is $1, but the ideal bid will eventually need to reach $5, then this rule will allow the change to take place incrementally, with small increases of 25% over the course of several days or weeks, rather than taking place all at once. 

This rule controls the reactivity of a Bid Strategy to market changes, often preventing the over-optimization of bids. It is strongly recommended to set this to a maximum of 25%. Consider lowering it if your keywords only generate 1 or 2 conversions per week on average.
 

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Set a Search Impression Share Cap allows you to set an impression share cap on bid strategies that are NOT bidding toward an Awareness Target. This means that even Bid Strategies that are targeting a financial goal (CPL, Margin, ROI, ROAS) can have an impression share cap. For example, if you're bidding toward a Margin goal, an impression share cap will prevent the algorithm from increasing bids on keywords that are already sitting above the impression share cap. 

Note: This rule is unique to MarinOne and is not available in Marin Search. Also, there are three different types of Impression Share Caps. To use, you will select the one that best fits your bidding needs. You can only use one type of Impression Share Cap at a time. 
 

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Set a Top Impression Share Cap allows you to set an impression share cap on Awareness Targeting bid strategies that are bidding toward Top Imp % (Top Impression Percentage). This means your bid strategy is targeting the top of the page (anything above the fold on the Search Engine Results Page).

Note: This rule is unique to MarinOne and is not available in Marin Search. Also, there are three different types of Impression Share Caps. To use, you will select the one that best fits your bidding needs. You can only use one type of Impression Share Cap at a time. 

rm1.16.jpg

 

Set an Abs. Top Impression Share Cap allows you to set an impression share cap on Awareness Targeting bid strategies that are bidding toward Abs. Top Imp. %  (Absolute Top Impression Percentage). This means your bid strategy is targeting the very first ad position on the Search Engine Results Page.

Note: This rule is unique to MarinOne and is not available in Marin Search. Also, there are three different types of Impression Share Caps. To use, you will select the one that best fits your bidding needs. You can only use one type of Impression Share Cap at a time. 

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Maximum CPL / Minimum Margin allows you to set a lower efficiency target for Google keywords below the first-page-bid-minimum. This rule is designed to periodically re-test keyword profitability on Page 1 and should be set equal to the Target CPL or Margin when launching bidding for the first time. Consider setting a Maximum CPL higher than the Target CPL (or Minimum Margin lower than the Target Margin) for 1 week every 3-6 months. This will give keywords that have been bid down below the first-page-bid-minimum an opportunity to perform at the primary target in a changed market.

Note: This rule is unique to Marin Search and is not available in MarinOne. 
 

Minimum Bid Change is the minimum amount in which a bid can change each day. This rule should not be used unless the daily bidding process is taking a significant amount of time due to the number of biddable objects in your account.

Note: This rule is unique to Marin Search and is not available in MarinOne. 

Excluded Dates

Excluded Dates allow you to exclude click and conversion data for specified dates or date ranges from being used to calculate your bids . This is useful if there has been a period or day of unusual performance which would skew bid calculations (e.g. Black Friday sale), or if you have a data integrity issue such as unreliable or missing revenue data. This setting recognizes both past and future dates.

Boost

Boost is a bid multiplier applied to objects within a Bid Strategy and can be used to control spend, volume, and efficiency. Adjusting Boost has the same effect as adjusting a Bid Strategy efficiency target (e.g. increasing Boost by 10% is mathematically equivalent to increasing Target CPL from $1.00 to $1.10).

Note: For MarinOne, this feature is currently in beta testing. If you'd like to determine if your account is eligible to participate in the beta, please reach out to a platform representative. 

Bid Overrides 

Bid Overrides allow you to remove specific keywords from automated bidding even if their Campaign or Ad Group is mapped to an active Bid Strategy. This rule is not recommended unless there is a specific business reason to use it. Settings include:
 

  • Bid Override: On | Off
  • Override Until (Bid Override End Date for bulk sheets): A keyword bid override will automatically remove itself on the specified date.
  • Target Position Keep Above (Bid Override Target Position Range in bulk sheets): The keyword bid will be automatically adjusted towards the desired position range. If this is blank, the keyword bid will remain static until it is manually changed or the override is removed. Note: This type of Bid Override is only available in Marin Search and is not available in MarinOne. 

Note: In the grid, if your Bid Override is turned on, the column will display Override, rather than On, which is a change in behavior from Marin Search.

how to set up bidding rules


In MarinOne

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into MarinOne using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab ('lightbulb' icon) in the left-hand navigation. 
     

    rm1.1.jpg
     

  3. From there, double click on the Bid Strategy of your choice. This will launch the Bid Strategy Side Panel, where you can adjust your targets, update settings, and apply Rules. 
     

    rm1.9.jpg
     

  4. Within the Side Panel, navigate to the Revenue sub-tab.
     

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  5. Hover over the Rules section and click on the Edit button ('pencil' icon) when it appears. 
     

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  6. To add a new Rule, click Add.
     

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  7. Here, you can browse the available rules. Use the information from the Summary section of this article to determine which rules are right for your Bid Strategy.

    When you see the Rule you would like to apply, simply select it. 
     

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  8. Once a Rule has been added to your list of active Rules, be sure to set the corresponding value, percentage, or threshold as-needed based on your Bid Strategy's unique needs. For example, if you choose to enable a Bid Cap, be sure to also set the value of your cap (for example, $100).

    Be certain you've reviewed the recommendations listed in this article and know the impact of a specific rule prior to enabling. Also, keep in mind that over-use of Rules can lower a Bid Strategy's efficiency, so you should err on the side of adding fewer Rules, rather than more Rules. If ever in doubt, don't hesitate to reach out to a platform representative. 
     

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  9. To edit an existing Rule, simply follow the steps above and adjust the value, percentage, or threshold as-needed,based on your Bid Strategy's unique needs. 
     
  10. To remove a Rule from your list of active Rules, click the Delete button ('trash can' icon) next to the relevant Rule. rm1.7.jpg
     
  11. When the desired rule thresholds have been established, click Save
     

    rm1.8.jpg
     

  12. That's all there is to it! The next time MarinOne's automated bidding runs, it will take your new rules into consideration and adjust your bids accordingly. 

In Marin Search

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into the Marin platform using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Bidding tab in the top navigation. 
     
  3. From there, click into the Folder of your choice. Rules are set at the Folder level.
     
  4. Below the Optimization Criteria section, you'll see a section for Rules. You can expand this section by clicking on the double arrow icon on the right-hand side.bo2.jpg
     

    bo3.jpg
     

  5. Here you will be able to see all of the rules that are available to you. Use the information from the Summary & Recommendations section of this article to determine which rules are right for your Folder.

    You can turn a rule on or off by selecting or unselecting the corresponding check box next to that rule. 

    If you have any questions about a rule or forget how they're used, click on the Question Mark ('?' icon) next to a specific rule. 
     

    bo4.jpg
     

  6. Once a rule has been enabled, be sure to set the corresponding thresholds for that rule. For example, if you choose to enable a Bid Cap, be sure to also set your maximum bid. 

    Note: Be certain you've reviewed the recommendations listed in this article and know the impact of a specific rule prior to enabling. 
     
  7. When the desired rule thresholds have been established, click Save at the top or bottom of the page to enable your new rules. 
     
  8. That's all there is to it! The next time Marin's automated bidding runs, it will take your new rules into consideration and adjust your bids accordingly. 

how to set up excluded dates


In MarinOne

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into MarinOne using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab ('lightbulb' icon) in the left-hand navigation. 
     

    rm1.1.jpg
     

  3. From there, double click on the Bid Strategy of your choice. This will launch the Bid Strategy Side Panel, where you can adjust your targets, update settings, and apply Excluded Dates.
     
  4. Within the Side Panel, navigate to the Revenue sub-tab.
     

    rm1.2.jpg
     

  5. Hover over the Excluded Dates section and click on the Edit button ('pencil' icon) when it appears. 
     

    ed1.jpg
     

  6. Click + Add Excluded Dates. If you've previously entered Excluded Dates for this Bid Strategy, the button will simply say + Add.
     

    ed2.jpg
     

  7. Choose whether you would like to add Excluded Dates to This Bid Strategy or The Entire Client, which will apply Excluded Dates to your entire MarinOne Client Account (Search accounts only, this does not apply to MarinOne Social accounts).
     

    ed3.jpg
     

  8. Input your dates by selecting them from the calendar. For a single day, simply select the day from the calendar. It will appear as both the start and end date in your date range. If you'd like to enter a span of time, simply click once to select the first day of your range and click a second time to select the last day of your range. 
     
  9. Click Add
     

    ed4.jpg
     

  10. If you would like to enter additional dates, simply click + Add again and repeat steps 7 - 9. 
     

    ed5.jpg
     

  11. When you've entered all of your Excluded Dates, click Save

    Note: You can enter Excluded Dates as far back as January 1, 2005. 
     

    rm1.8.jpg
     

  12. That's all there is to it! The next time MarinOne's automated bidding runs, it will take your new Excluded Dates into consideration and apply them to your Bid Strategy (or Strategies) accordingly. 

In Marin Search

Excluded Dates can be set at either the Folder level or the Marin Client Account level. We'll review both below.

At The Folder Level 

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into the Marin platform using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Bidding tab in the top navigation.
     
  3. From there, click into the Folder of your choice.
     
  4. Once you've clicked into your Folder, from the left-hand navigation, select Excluded Dates (folder specific)
     
  5. Here you can input individual dates or date ranges, using the m/d/yy format. You will see a few example dates and date ranges on the page to get you started. 

    Note: You can enter Excluded Dates as far back as January 1, 2005. 
     

    ed6.jpg
     

  6. If you've set Excluded Dates in another Folder and would like to copy them, click on the Copy static excluded dates from: drop-down and select the desired Folder. Then select Apply
     
  7. Once you've input your desired Excluded Dates, click Save

At The Client Level 

If you'd prefer to input your Excluded Dates at the Client level, to be applied to all Folders in your Marin Client Account, simply follow the instructions listed below. 

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into the Marin platform using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Admin button in the top right-hand corner. 
     
  3. From here, click on the Optimization sub-tab. 
     
  4. Then, select Excluded Dates from the left-hand navigation. 
     
  5. Here you can input individual dates or date ranges, using the m/d/yy format. You will see a few example dates and date ranges on the page to get you started. 

     

  6. If you've set Excluded Dates in a specific Folder and would like to copy them to the client-level settings, click on the Copy static excluded dates from: drop-down and select the desired Folder. Then select Apply
     
  7. Once you've input your desired Excluded Dates, click Save

how to apply boosts


In MarinOne

Note: This feature is currently in beta testing. If you'd like to determine if your account is eligible to participate in the beta, please reach out to a platform representative. 

 

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into MarinOne using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Optimization tab ('lightbulb' icon) in the left-hand navigation. 
     

    rm1.1.jpg
     

  3. From there, double click on the Bid Strategy of your choice. This will launch the Bid Strategy Side Panel, where you can adjust your targets, update settings, and apply boost.
     
  4. Hover over the Boosts section and click on the Edit button ('pencil' icon) when it appears. 
     

    b1.jpg
     

  5. Click Add a Boost
     

    b2.jpg
     

  6. From here, you have the option to apply your boost by publisher or apply a Global Boost that will apply to all MarinOne Search publishers. Select the option that best fits your needs. 
     

    b3.jpg
     

  7. Input your boost percentage. 
     

    b4.jpg
     

  8. For Global Boosts, you can select either Static or Scheduled. A static boost will be applied to your Bid Strategy long-term, while a scheduled boost can be turned on and off based on a date range of your choosing. Scheduled boosts can be used for promotions, seasonality, or any other time when your bids need to be adjusted short-term.
     

    b5.jpg
     

  9. If you selected a scheduled boost, input your dates by selecting them from the calendar. For a single day, simply select the day from the calendar. It will appear as both the start and end date in your date range. If you'd like to enter a span of time, simply click once to select the first day of your range and click a second time to select the last day of your range. 
     
  10. If you would also like to also enable Excluded Dates for the same date range as your scheduled boost, select the Excluded Dates check-box. 
     

    b6.jpg
     

  11. If, rather than a global boost, you instead choose to enter a boost for a specific publisher, you will have the option to enter separate boosts for Broad, Phrase, and Exact Match keywords. 
     

    b8.jpg
     

  12. When you've entered all of your boost details, click Create
     

    b7.jpg
     

  13. If you would like to enter additional scheduled boosts or additional boosts for other publishers, simply click + Add a boost again and repeat steps 6 - 12.
     
  14. When you're finished entering boosts, click Save
     

    rm1.8.jpg
     

  15. That's all there is to it! The next time MarinOne's automated bidding runs, it will take your new boost settings into consideration and apply them to your Bid Strategy accordingly. 

In Marin Search

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into the Marin platform using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, click on the Bidding tab in the top navigation. 
     
  3. From there, click into the Folder of your choice. Rules are set at the Folder level.
     
  4. Below the Optimization Criteria section, you'll see a section for Rules. You can expand this section by clicking on the double arrow icon on the right-hand side. r1 1-23-2020.jpg
     
  5. Here you will be able to set up a Boost, applied as a percentage. 
     
  6. If, rather than a single boost, you instead choose to enter a boost for a specific publisher, you will have the option to enter separate boosts for Broad, Phrase, and Exact Match keywords. 
     
  7. When you're finished entering boosts, click Save
     
  8. That's all there is to it! The next time Marin's automated bidding runs, it will take your new bost into consideration and adjust your bids accordingly. 

Important Notes about Boosts

  • Typically, scheduled boosts that are set to run will go into effect next-day. For example, if you set up boosts on the 1st of the month, they will apply and be included in the bid calculation on the 2nd of the month. If you'd like your boosts to begin on the 1st, you should schedule them one day prior. 
  • If you rely heavily on scheduled boosts and need them be be applied same-day, reach out to a platform representative to discuss having your bidding time moved earlier in the day. Your platform representative will help determine if your account is eligible for having your bidding run time adjusted and will help you identify the best time of day for bidding to run.

How to set up bid overrides


In MarinOne

Bid Overrides can be set in MarinOne using a bulk upload. At present, Bid Overrides cannot be set using a single or multi-edit, but we plan to add this functionality in a future release. 

Note: For MarinOne's automated bidding to work best, we recommend using Bid Overrides strategically and only when needed. If you're uncertain if Bid Overrides are the right choice for you bidding goals, please reach out to a platform representative.

 

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into MarinOne using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, if you haven't already, click into the Search tab in the left-hand navigation. 
     

    r15.jpg
     

  3. From here, you can either navigate to the specific tab where you would like to create your bulk upload or simply click on the Upload button in the top-right. 
     
  4. From this point forward, you'll create your bulk upload like usual. You can learn more about bulk uploads in MarinOne from our dedicated article
     
  5. In your bulksheet, you'll use the Bid Override column to enable/disable overrides and the Override Until column to set an end date for your override, if needed. 
     

    bo1.jpg
     

  6. To see which keywords are using a bid override, use the Column Selector to add the Bid Override column to the grid. The values in this column will display as "Override" for keywords where bid override has been turned on and "Off" for keywords where bid override has been disabled. 
     

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  7. To see full settings history for a specific keyword, double click on the keyword/row where you would like see additional details to launch the Side Panel. 
     
  8. That's all there is to it! The next time MarinOne's automated bidding runs, it will take your new bid override settings into consideration and apply them to keywords accordingly. 

In Marin Search

  1. Step one, as always, is to log into the Marin platform using your login credentials.
     
  2. Next, navigate to the Keywords tab in the top navigation. Alternately, if you'd prefer to set a Bid Override at another biddable level (i.e. Product Group), navigate to the designated tab for that object.
     
  3. Use the check-box next to your Keyword or Product Group to select the object or objects where you would like to set up your Bid Override. 
     
  4. Click on the Edit button ('pencil' icon)
     
  5. From the drop-down, select Bid Override
     
  6. Select the radio button for On to enable your Bid Override.
     

    bo5.jpg
     

  7. If you would like to enable your Bid Override for a designated timeframe, check the Override Until box and input an end date.

    Note: If you do not input an end date, your Bid Override will be turned on indefinitely, until you choose to manually disable it. 
     
  8. Click Save at the bottom of the dialoge box to enable your changes. 
     
  9. That's all there is to it! The next time Marin's automated bidding runs, it will ignore the objects where a Bid Override has been set and will not adjust bids for these objects. 
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